There’s taking liberties, and then there’s completely overhauling a time-honored story from the works of two legendary spinners of fairy tales. If you like your fairy tales new and questionably improved, well — The Huntsman from director Cedric Nicolas-Troyin may be fit the bill with a cast of Oscar-worthy talent any director would be happy to work with.
Moviegoers may recall the previous adaptation from the Snow White saga, Snow White and the Huntsman in which Oscar winner Charlize Theron was cast as the evil queen and Chris Hemsworth took on the role of the heroic huntsman set about on a mission to have Snow White killed. But the Huntsman reverses course turning on the queen joining forces with Snow White in the process.
Studio publicity materials describe this feature as being based on characters not only from the Brothers Grimm’s tale of Snow White, but also from Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen.
This sequel is also a prequel, and in it the evil queen Ravenna has a sister named Freya, who’s just as menacing as she is. The Oscar-nominaterd Emily Blunt joins Theron in this sister act as the Ice Queen, who brings with her an ability to freeze anything in her path.
Chris Hemsworth’s huntsman has a love interest in this outing. She’s portrayed by another Oscar nominee, Jessica Chastain whose character also comes equipped with considerable skills as a warrior.
Despite the all-star cast, The Huntsman: Winter’s War has not gained much praise from critics. RottenTomatoes weighs in with a score of 17. Audiences, on the other hand, seem not to be put off by that low mark. The “wanna see” on this feature is an impressive 96.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War runs 2 hours 3 minutes and is rated PG-13.